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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1991 Dec;88(6):830-7.

Tryptase and histamine release during aspirin-induced respiratory reactions.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA 92037.


The involvement of mast cells in the pathogenesis of aspirin (ASA)-induced respiratory reactions was investigated by measuring serum levels of tryptase, a neutral protease that is a specific marker of mast cell activation. ASA challenges were performed in 17 ASA-sensitive patients with asthma and rhinosinusitis, and tryptase and histamine levels were measured in their venous blood samples. In three subjects who experienced moderate to severe respiratory reactions extending to the skin and/or gastrointestinal tract, marked elevations of tryptase levels in postreaction serum samples (peak levels, 51.9 and 40.0 ng/ml) were discovered in two of these three subjects, and a small elevation of tryptase occurred in the serum of the third subject (3.1 ng/ml peak). Plasma histamine levels in postreaction samples were significantly elevated over baseline values in all three subjects (delta mean plasma histamine, 238 pg/ml versus 56 pg/ml for the remaining 14 subjects; p less than 0.04). In the remaining 14 subjects, who experienced similar respiratory reactions without extrapulmonary symptoms during aspirin challenge, changes in tryptase and histamine levels were not observed.

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